August 27, 2018 Dena Jensen
Day 2 of the Count-down to Ousting Doug. Here’s something Republican State Senator Doug Ericksen did three years ago (back in 2015) that helped serve to perpetuate toxic threats, such as those from asbestos, to our waters.
“This is where Doug Ericksen comes in. Whatcom County, the EPA and the Washington State Department of Ecology all recognize that the Swift Creek sediment needs to be managed. Allowing continued flooding and Swift Creek to flow unmanaged over large swaths of land poses a huge health risk and a huge economic loss to farms, businesses and property values. The old way of dredging and allowing the sediment to be spread with no controls is simply not acceptable under current federal law. After a lot of hard work and study an approach to managing the sediment was figured out and the governor put the funding in the State budget proposal to the state legislators. The budget item passed in the house with support by both 42nd house members Vince Buys and Luanne Van Werven.
“Doug Ericksen is a high ranking State Senator with substantial authority. This should have been a no brainer, but the budget item for supporting the sediment management of Swift Creek was removed from the budget. Doug Ericksen did that and in that regard has intentionally failed his constituents. Whatcom County is left with a huge expense to maintain the creek flowing under the bridges and not burying large swaths of farmland. Several square miles of farm land are now at substantial risk of being lost. A saw mill on the north side of the creek will be at risk. A mushroom farm south of the creek is at risk. Those two businesses alone are over 100 jobs. The towns of Nooksack and Sumas are at risk and their growth plans now face uncertainty. Property owners face substantial loss in value of their land.”